WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 2023) – Education Reform Now (ERN) Released the following statement in response to President Biden’s proposed fiscal year 2024 budget:
“The Biden Administration’s proposed budget largely reflects the Administration’s commitment to expanding educational access and equity in K-12 and postsecondary education.
We applaud the proposed budget for increased investment in foundational education programs including an 11% increase for Title I grants to support high-poverty schools, 17% increase to Special Education State Grant programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and a 34% increase for Title III grants to support English Language Acquisition and Language Enhancement for English learners.
We are especially pleased that the Biden budget prioritizes education innovation, and research & development (R&D). Notably, the budget provides an 8% increase for the Institute for Education Sciences to support basic education research and a 43% increase for Education Innovation and Research Grants to scale innovation and evidence-based programs.
Encouragingly, the budget also proposed doubling funding for the Augustus Hawkins Centers for Excellence, which support comprehensive teacher preparation programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and other minority-serving institutions.
While we appreciate that President Biden has remained consistent in his proposed level funding of $440 million for the Federal Charter Schools program, the amount is insufficient to support current needs for school facilities, start-ups, and replication and expansion of high performers. We urge Congress to improve upon this investment so that students across the country continue to have access to high quality public charter schools.
On the higher education side, we are also pleased that the proposed increased investment in Postsecondary Student Success Grants, which will support the implementation and expansion evidence-based practices that improve postsecondary retention and completion, as well as new investments in a Holistic Student Supports program and a new Postsecondary Advancement and Success Technical Assistance Center. At the same time, $164 million remains too small an investment for these grants to have a widespread impact on raising completion rates and closing degree gaps.
Additionally, while we are encouraged to see a $820 boost to the Pell Grant, compared to the astronomical cost of college today, increasing Pell Grants alone remains insufficient to make four-year college affordable and successful for many Americans. It is critical that Congress not just provide financial support to students from low-income households, but also to the institutions that enroll large numbers of Pell recipients, so that they can create the systems and supports needed to boost completion rates.
Bold change necessitates bold investments. We look forward to working with Congress during the appropriations process to build upon these priorities.”